Reading Identity: Recognitions in the <i>Aethiopica</i>

Silvia Montiglio

in Love and Providence

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916047
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980239 | DOI:
Reading Identity: Recognitions in the Aethiopica

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This chapter deals with recognitions in the third- or fourth-century novel by Heliodorus. This novelist exploits the motif of recognition most originally to bring hermeneutic problems into sharp focus: how do we read identity? What is it that constitutes evidence for it? Language, dress, the light in a loved one’s eyes? And, more generally, how do we gain knowledge? These questions are raised in the numerous recognition scenes of the novel, but especially in the final one, the heroine’s recognition by her parents, which is the most elaborate recognition scene in all of Greek and Roman literature. This scene also develops, with unprecedented amplitude, the motif of blood’s call in connection with recognition.

Keywords: Heliodorus; call of blood; recognition

Chapter.  26292 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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